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  • Brandon MacMurray

The After Review



Author Leo Christopher once said, “There is only one thing more precious than our time, and that’s who we spend it on.”


This a realization our protagonist Dayo, played by David Oyelowo (Selma, Queen of Katwe, A United Kingdom) slowly has as he spends a day with his daughter Laura. With the skyline of London as a backdrop, heartfelt scenes of quality father-daughter time are interrupted by Dayo’s all-consuming job as the two make their way to meet Dayo’s wife.



“Come and dance with me, Dad,” Laura says, as she drags Dayo away from his business calls and his mindset - half at work, half-present with his daughter.


Director Misan Harriman captures the joy of the moment perfectly and the intimacy of a father-daughter relationship as Laura teaches Dayo the steps of a dance before he freestyles his own.


“I’m sorry I can’t stay,” Dayo says to Laura as they nearly get run over by a man on a bike.


The moment causes pause and you can see Dayo consider staying with his daughter anyway. Dayo and Laura meet up with Dayo’s wife just as he makes the decision to stay in order to watch his daughter’s performance. The family's embrace is broken by another phone call from Dayo's job. As Dayo walks away to answer the call, disaster strikes. It's a devastating scene; one that will change Dayo’s life forever.



Fast forward to the future. Dayo is left to deal with the aftermath of the events of that fateful day. He is now an Uber driver, and through his interactions with his passengers, you can see how he views their stories and events through a lens of what happened on the worst day of his life. He sees the pieces of his past in the world around him, imagining what was and what could have been. Whether it's a dad being proud of his son, a women in distress as they try to get help for a loved one, or lastly, a family whose dynamics hit a little too close to home: Dayo sees himself in each story playing out in his backseat. All of this reflection leads to a sincere moment of apathy and a heart-wrenching yet cathartic final breaking point for Dayo. It is here where you can see Misan’s work as a world renowned photographer translates best, as he flawlessly portrays each and every emotion Dayo is going through like still photographs.


The After won the Hollyshorts award for Best Live Action which qualifies it for the Live Action Oscar at the 96th Academy Awards. It will have its UK premiere on October 5th at the BFI London Film Festival before its global release on Netflix on October 25th.


Review by: Brandon MacMurray

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ShortStick

The short end of the stick: The inferior part, the worse side of an unequal deal

When it comes to cinema and the Oscars it always feels like short films and getting the short end of the stick. Lack of coverage, lack of predictions from experts and an afterthought in the conversation. With this site we hope to change that, highlighting shorts that stick with you, predictions, and news on what is happening in the world of shorts. 

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